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Principles of Physics (Pantaneto Introductory Physics Series) Paperback – 1 Aug 2017


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Paperback, 1 Aug 2017
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Product details

  • Paperback: 794 pages
  • Publisher: Pantaneto Press (1 Aug. 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0992941164
  • ISBN-13: 978-0992941161
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4.3 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,214,208 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

A one-stop shop - This book is advertised as a pre-university physics book for those intending to continue their studies in physics, applied mathematics or engineering. It is one of the publisher s Introductory Physics Series, the rest of which cover physics topics at university level. The stated aim of this book is to draw on the essential physical principles in high school physics syllabuses (such as U.K. A-level, U.S. Advanced Placement courses and the International Baccalaureate) to provide a strong conceptual base for the further study of physics, etc at university. So this book is aimed at both high school physics students and first year undergraduates. It could also be a useful reference work for school teachers. As its title suggests, the focus is on physical principles although applications are used to exemplify the physics. Mathematics is the language of physics and a mathematical approach is taken throughout, drawing on pre-university mathematical techniques including basic calculus, differential equations and vector algebra. Every chapter concludes with a set of problems. In total, there are more than 300 questions with answers. The appendices contain summary lists of units, useful data and formulae. There is also an extensive glossary of terms. This book is the latest in a long tradition. My book shelf has copies of Ganot s Physics (1863), Watson s A Text Book of Physics (1899), Nelkon & Parker s Advanced Level Physics (1958), Whelan and Hodgson s Essential Principles of Physics (1978) and Wenham et al s Physics Concepts and Models (1985). Two trends are obvious. The first is that changes are needed because of the evolution in systems of units (from imperial to cgs, to MKS, to rationalised MKS, and finally to SI) and secondly, the more modern the book the less discursive and more mathematical they have become. A welcome feature of this book is that it whets the appetite for those who want to deepen their understanding of physics. Thus, it includes the subtlety of the Lagrangian method in Newtonian dynamics, special relativity with the Lorentz transformations (although the simplification that mass increases with velocity is presented without a suitable caveat), the interpretations of quantum mechanics and the power of symmetry principles in physics. Several topics avoid common mistakes or omissions. For example, Newton s third law of motion is presented in a comprehensive and accurate way. The discussion of origin of the two ocean tides avoids the simplistic (and thus wrong) analysis of the forces involved. Discussion of the photo-electric effect sensibly does not use Einstein s photoelectric equation to (incorrectly) determine the work function of the photo-emitter from the graph of stopping voltage against frequency. However, some quite subtle ideas do appear without explanation and they are not included in the otherwise comprehensive glossary, e.g. mass as GeV/c2, second order terms, antimatter, partial derivatives, and the potential well. The idea of a frame of reference is introduced on page 80 but is not explained until twenty-five pages later and it does not appear in the index. These are possible obstacles to students, but should not worry teachers, who will no doubt navigate their students past them. The author s credentials as an experienced teacher show up as useful hints for students. There is useful guidance how to avoid the pitfalls when using Excel to process and display data (but sadly there is nothing about the effective design of slides when using Power Point). The section on how to approach, carry out and write-up experimental investigations should calm many a student when faced with such a course work task.Like my trusty Nelkon and Parker, I expect that this book will stay with its owners throughout their careers. --Rick Marshall, Physics Education, March 2018.

About the Author

STEVE ADAMS studied Physics at Cambridge University and the University of Windsor, Ontario. He is a physics teacher, teacher trainer and author and works as an examiner and consultant for Cambridge International Examinations.


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